NP, PB1, and PB2 viral genes contribute to altered replication of H5N1 avian influenza viruses in chickens

Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 06/2008; 82(9):4544-53. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02642-07
Source: PubMed


The virulence determinants for highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are considered multigenic, although the best characterized virulence factor is the hemagglutinin (HA) cleavage site. The capability of influenza viruses to reassort gene segments is one potential way for new viruses to emerge with different virulence characteristics. To evaluate the role of other gene segments in virulence, we used reverse genetics to generate two H5N1 recombinant viruses with differing pathogenicity in chickens. Single-gene reassortants were used to determine which viral genes contribute to the altered virulence. Exchange of the PB1, PB2, and NP genes impacted replication of the reassortant viruses while also affecting the expression of specific host genes. Disruption of the parental virus' functional polymerase complexes by exchanging PB1 or PB2 genes decreased viral replication in tissues and consequently the pathogenicity of the viruses. In contrast, exchanging the NP gene greatly increased viral replication and expanded tissue tropism, thus resulting in decreased mean death times. Infection with the NP reassortant virus also resulted in the upregulation of gamma interferon and inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression. In addition to the impact of PB1, PB2, and NP on viral replication, the HA, NS, and M genes also contributed to the pathogenesis of the reassortant viruses. While the pathogenesis of AIVs in chickens is clearly dependent on the interaction of multiple gene products, we have shown that single-gene reassortment events are sufficient to alter the virulence of AIVs in chickens.

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Available from: Darrell Kapczynski, Jul 09, 2014
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    • "Limited data are available on the role that cytokine storm or more specifically IFN-g plays in the pathogenesis of avian infectious diseases. In chickens a disruption of the cytokine response to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza has been described in the early stages of the disease; and an increase of IFN-g transcription in the lung of chickens has been associated with decreased mean death time and wider tissue tropism of recombinant H5N1 infectious clones [21] [22]. Additionally, IFN-g has been associated with the pathogenesis and immunosuppression caused by highly virulent strains of Infectious Bursal Disease virus in chickens [23] [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The role of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) expression during Newcastle disease virus (NDV) infection in chickens is unknown. Infection of chickens with highly virulent NDV results in rapid death, which is preceded by increased expression of IFN-γ in target tissues. IFN-γ is a cytokine that has pleiotropic biological effects including intrinsic antiviral activity and immunomodulatory effects that may increase morbidity and mortality during infections. To better understand how IFN-γ contributes to NDV pathogenesis, the coding sequence of the chicken IFN-γ gene was inserted in the genome of the virulent NDV strain ZJ1 (rZJ1-IFNγ), and the effects of high levels of IFN-γ expression during infection were determined in vivo and in vitro. IFN-γ expression did not significantly affect NDV replication in fibroblast or in macrophage cell lines. However, it affected the pathogenesis of rZJ1-IFNγ in vivo. Relative to the virus expressing the green fluorescent protein (rZJ1-GFP) or lacking the IFN-γ insert (rZJ1-rev), expression of IFN-γ by rZJ1-IFNγ produced a marked decrease of pathogenicity in 4-week-old chickens, as evidenced by lack of mortality, decreased disease severity, virus shedding, and antigen distribution. These results suggest that early expression of IFN-γ had a significant protective role against the effects of highly virulent NDV infection in chickens, and further suggests that the level and timing of expression of this cytokine may be critical for the disease outcome. This is the first description of an in vivo attenuation of a highly virulent NDV by avian cytokines, and shows the feasibility to use NDV for cytokine delivery in chicken organs. This approach may facilitate the study of the role of other avian cytokines on the pathogenesis of NDV.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Microbial Pathogenesis
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    • "These reports showed that the growth potential of reassortants differed depending on the constellation of the polymerase genes, suggesting the major contribution of the polymerases to efficient replication in mammals. NP was also shown to play an important role in the efficient replication and expansion of tissue tropism of H5N1 HPAIVs in chickens [30,31]. Recently, it was demonstrated that the interaction of PB2 and NP with importin-α, a host factor mediating trafficking into the nucleus, where transcription and replication of the viral genome occur, was correlated with host adaptation of influenza A viruses [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Wild ducks are the natural hosts of influenza A viruses. Duck influenza, therefore, has been believed inapparent infection with influenza A viruses, including highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIVs) in chickens. In fact, ducks experimentally infected with an HPAIV strain, A/Hong Kong/483/1997 (H5N1) (HK483), did not show any clinical signs. Another HPAIV strain, A/whooper swan/Mongolia/3/2005 (H5N1) (MON3) isolated from a dead swan, however, caused neurological dysfunction and death in ducks. Method To understand the mechanism whereby MON3 shows high pathogenicity in ducks, HK483, MON3, and twenty-four reassortants generated between these two H5N1 viruses were compared for their pathogenicity in domestic ducks. Results None of the ducks infected with MON3-based single-gene reassortants bearing the PB2, NP, or NS gene segment of HK483 died, and HK483-based single-gene reassortants bearing PB2, NP, or NS genes of MON3 were not pathogenic in ducks, suggesting that multiple gene segments contribute to the pathogenicity of MON3 in ducks. All the ducks infected with the reassortant bearing PB2, PA, HA, NP, and NS gene segments of MON3 died within five days post-inoculation, as did those infected with MON3. Each of the viruses was assessed for replication in ducks three days post-inoculation. MON3 and multi-gene reassortants pathogenic in ducks were recovered from all of the tissues examined and replicated with high titers in the brains and lungs. Conclusion The present results indicate that multigenic factors are responsible for efficient replication of MON3 in ducks. In particular, virus growth in the brain might correlate with neurological dysfunction and the disease severity.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Virology Journal
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    • "Creation of viruses containing different combinations of segments from two highly pathogenic H5N1 avian strains resulted in the identification of PB1 as one of the segments that altered replication [23]. Residues at positions 473 and 598 from another avian PB1 were shown to contribute to efficient replication of a human isolate [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: It is desirable for influenza vaccine virus strains to have phenotypes that include good growth and hemagglutinin (HA) protein yield. The quality of these characteristics varies among the vaccine viruses and is usually due to multigenic effects. Many influenza A virus vaccine viruses are made as reassortants of the high yield virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR/8) and a circulating seasonal virus. Co-infection of eggs with the two viruses, and selection of reassortants with the HA and neuraminidase (NA) segments from the seasonal virus, can result in viruses that contain a mixture of internal genes derived from both the high yield virus and the circulating virus. Segment 2 (PB1), which encodes the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, frequently cosegregates with the seasonal HA and NA segments. We asked whether mutations based on the seasonal PB1 genes could improve vaccine virus strains. Here we report that mutations to the PR/8 PB1 gene, based on differences observed between seasonal and PR/8 PB1 genes, accelerate egg and cell culture based replication for a reassortant virus containing HA and NA segments from the low yield A/Wyoming/03/2003 (H3N2) vaccine virus.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Vaccine
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